Waerea-Hargreaves hit with six-week suspension after headbutt, late tackle charges

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Jared Waerea-Hargreaves’ season is all-but over after being slugged with two separate three-match suspensions from the Roosters’ win over the Tigers.

Waerea-Hargreaves’ headbutt on Wests Tigers prop Stefano Utoikamanu was met with a grade 1 striking charge on Sunday morning, and he also found himself on the charge sheet for grade two dangerous contact after hitting Api Koroisau late; the incident that sparked the melee.

The Kiwi enforcer would need to successfully appeal both penalties to line up in the Roosters’ winner-takes-all stoush with arch-rivals South Sydney on Friday; a scenario which seems extremely unlikely.

Waerea-Hargreaves’ poor judiciary record contributed to both charges attracting longer suspensions.

With star centre Joey Manu (hamstring) also in significant doubt for Friday’s clash, the loss of the Kiwi enforcer will be a telling blow for the Roosters, though skipper James Tedesco is on track to return from concussion against the Rabbitohs.

Manu’s hamstring issue was described by coach Trent Robinson as “mild” after the Roosters 32-8 win over the Tigers kept their finals hopes alive, but a six-day turnaround after being forced off in the 24th minute does not bode well.

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Stefan Utoikamanu scuffle following a high shot on Api Koroisau.Credit: Getty

Tigers coach Benji Marshall, who played with Waerea-Hargreaves for New Zealand over a number of years, said the veteran prop “got what he deserved” by being sin-binned for his hit on Koroisau.

“It’s hard for Jared, I know him pretty well, he has a pretty big head,” Marshall said of the headbutt.

“Jared is one of those players who crosses the line and turns into this beast and demon on the field and plays on the edge.

“I’ve been in the team with him, you love having those blokes in your team, but I thought he crossed the line tonight, especially with the [Koroisau] hit, but he got what he deserved, [which] was 10 minutes.”


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